Several staffers at a New Jersey community college recently filed complaints with the school’s administrators after they were subjected to excerpts from The Vagina Monologues at a mandatory end-of-the-year assembly.
According to Inside Higher Ed, officials at Mercer County Community College, received seven complaints from faculty and staff who were present at the event.
As part of the year end celebration, the school lauded a successful production of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues which helped raise money for Womanspace, a domestic violence nonprofit in Mercer County.
The approximately 300 staff and faculty members did not expect to hear portions of the play which includes graphic spoken word depictions of sex, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, and orgasms.
While Mercer officials have apologized to the members of the college who were offended, Mercer spokesman Jim Gardner reaffirmed the school’s commitment to free expression.
“As a college we strongly encourage freedom of speech and expression of new ideas and have never censored or required prior review of the content that’s developed by faculty and staff leaders,” Gardner said in a statement.
Gardner added that the school will take steps to put in place a review process for school assemblies.
Not all school employes were offended, with Mercer Associate Professor of Psychology Heather Jennings, writing, ““It fascinates me how adults at an institute of higher learning are so bothered by the mention of a vagina.”
Mercer County Community College, has an enrollment of approximately 13,000 full-time and part-time students